On the evening of Tuesday the 25th, I visited Spooky World at Apple Jacks Farm. Looking back, I would say that the event was similar in nature to Scareshow – toned down and a little too tame for my tastes, but suitable for visitors who are new to scare attractions (though I will admit I did get a scream or two out of this attraction). Since Spooky World is so heavily advertised as a ‘scary’ event at night, I was surprised at how underwhelming the whole experience was & how much Apple Jack’s needed to improve upon to make the experience more frightening in general – especially the use of cheap masks - which is undeniably grating, in relation to how much it costs for a ticket to get in this event.
The first thing I went on with my group was the Haunted Hayride. The positives about this part of Spooky World (which honestly I feel reluctant to point out, due to the fact this was my least favourite part) was the features incorporated in the journey – this was my first time on a haunted hayride and, ignoring the fact it was a supposed scare attraction, the route was very scenic and well lit, with eerie coloured lights, also included was driving into & through water, and there was even a truck which sped up to the carriage as we as a group were being towed along – a clever idea I have never seen demonstrated. As we progressed through the Haunted Hayride, I realised that the 'go for the middle' tactic was basically the only one used, and was then prolific then throughout the rest of the different mazes – so if you have already booked & have yet to visit Spooky World, then I would recommend to place yourself directly in the middle of the groups, if you can, for maximum scare. Being sat at the back of the tractor carriage excluded me from any scares and also made it difficult to see what was happening. I would say this was the most disappointing part of the event for the night.
Onwards to The Disturbed. This was more effective for scares, but the few actors seemed too sparse & not really making an effort to scare passing individuals. Assessing the actor-to-public ratio, it looks like Spooky World were rushing too many people through & also lacked enough actors to successfully scare the entirety of the groups that were going through. Comparatively, though, this was five steps up from the Hayride - I think I did scream somewhere in here because of how utterly disorientating it was. The Disturbed was a mesh wall maze filled completely with extremely fast strobe lighting. I was placed at the front of the group on this maze and I struggled terribly to navigate my way around. Again, this was an improvement on the Hayride, but was not terrifying.
Quarantine had the longest of all of the queues, and had a man stood at the entrance collecting tickets in a fascinating zombie type costume (I think the broken glass pieces looked fantastic!). Quarantine was themed around what seemed to be an infected hospital type area, filled with doctors & insane patients. This was the only maze I actually screamed out loud in, due to a female actor’s perfectly timed lashing out at a grid wall, just as I walked past. Again the actors were clearly too sparse in this maze – and this was clearly identifiable as our group went in alone for the first half of the maze, before a wildly panicking group managed to catch up with us from behind. The acting effort, though, seemed to be better in Quarantine than any other – for example there was a straight jacket bound patient that violently threw himself around and then appeared out from an opening in the side of his ‘cage’ which was amusing. I think it perhaps was a tie between Quarantine and the Disturbed for being the ‘scarier’ maze of the evening.
The Field of Screams was almost as disappointing as the Hayride – except one actor managed to shock me by cleverly hiding in the tall shadows of the corn walls. What seemed to have happened when our group departed for the trail around the maze was most of the actors had either given up and left as the evening was coming to an end, and most of the stations, or areas, where actors seemingly should have been, were not. A girl behind me in our group complained of how most of the actors were absent & how much better last year’s event was, as the setting was vastly darker – which compounded my thoughts that the actors indeed had simply given up. There was a generic chainsaw ending but I refused to rush out in hopes I might actually feel scared, which sadly I didn’t.
Spooky World definitely has potential, primarily with the sets - they look quite impressive indeed, but regretfully I feel that is not enough to make a maze & since this is not a new attraction to the scare market I doubt very much they will be changing how things are run anytime soon (as Spooky World seems to already have an established target audience), therefore I will not be making a return visit.
Overall rating – 4/10